Biological research is becoming more open in terms of funding and data


A scientist in a hazmat dresser works with a Koch barrier in a bio-medical laboratory, seen through a glass window.

Information on research funding and biological data is increasingly evolving into journal articles.Credit: Anna-Christine Poujoulat / AFP / Getty

Biological research moves to become more transparent and more explicit by making it possible. Increasing the amount of funding information, conflict of interest and data sharing in their publications, according to a recent survey of papers.

John Ioannidis at Stanford University in California and colleagues examined 149 biological research papers published between 2015 and 2017 to find out how much it included information on key features transparency, how the work financed, the potential controversy of the researchers, and the raw data available and completing research protocols.

Significant improvement

They found that most of the papers about funding and conflict were interest (69% and 65%, respectively), with almost one out of five reporting data which was available to the public – although there was only one paper to; including a link to a fully monitored protocol. The work was published PLoS Biology on 20 November1South Westerly

This was a major improvement in the results of a survey carried out by some of the only researchers in a sample of 441 articles published between 2000 and 2014, with little information, if However, on funding, conflict or data sharing2 (see & Open Up & # 39;).

Tobar: J. D. Wallach et al. PLoS Biol. 16, e2006930 (2018).

"This is a reason to be optimistic," said co-author Joshua Wallach, who explores research practices at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Shift culture

Reports on funding and conflict are important because they are sources of potential that may impact on how designs are planned and directed, he says. And easy access to data and protocols is essential for the emergence of scientific results. "The fact that we now see statements on data sharing shows that their culture is moving," said Wallach.

Around 5% of the papers inspected were full or part of a previous reproduction – a confident indicator, but still a proportion less than a wish by Wallach. "We need to take over replacing," he says. "It should not be treated as a second class science."

Although the results show that a & # 39; biological community to show that more is & # 39; Accepting the importance of open science, Wallach believes some of the progress to the changes in magazines: many are now in a position; need statements of interest and conflict, and have policies on data sharing.

But Wallach says that magazines could do more to promote the sharing of protocols. And public resources such as PubMed should make it easier to obtain information about funding, conflict and data for people without access to their entire paper, he says.

Jim Woodgett, research director at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, Canada says that such papers change as scientists work by telling how little publicity has ever been. But this kind of culture is changing that makes a lot of effort, and the universities and magazines must be ahead. "No one says there is no need for a magazine," he says.

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